Sonoma County GOP Voter Guide

March 2, 2021

Vote No on Measures A and B

Measure A - West Sonoma County Union High School District Parcel Tax

To renew and provide stable funding at Analy, El Molino and Laguna High Schools that the State cannot take away; protect music, art, dance, shop, culinary and other career technical programs; retain teachers/staff; keep class sizes low; shall the West Sonoma County Union High School District measure to levy $48.00 per parcel annually for three years be adopted, raising $1,150,000 annually, have no funds for administrators’ salaries, provide a senior citizens’ exemption and have all funds stay local?

Measure B - Proposed West County Transient Occupancy Tax Area

To address tourism impacts on West County communities and paid only by guests, shall the measure be adopted to add an additional 4% transient occupancy tax in West County for hotels and short-term rentals, to support sustainable paramedic emergency medical and rescue services provided by local fire agencies, and to support West County schools and education, raising approximately $2.7 million annually, with all funds exclusively used for West County, effective until amended/repealed?

Vote No on Measures A and B

Sadly, we’re watching a slow moving train wreck. Years of declining enrollment have left the West Sonoma County High School District with expensive facilities it no longer needs. Meanwhile, the corresponding reduction in state funding means less money. Something has to give.

Voters just last year renewed an earlier approved parcel tax. Voters also two years earlier approved a $91 million bond measure. Neither are substitutes for a lack of students. Nor is another parcel tax.

The unfortunate reality is that the high cost of housing in Sonoma County forces young families to settle elsewhere. And while Measure A supporters rightly point out that the growing number of vacation rentals contributes to that cost, they neglect to mention that the growing number of parcel tax and bond assessments are even more responsible.

The choice is a harsh one, but not particularly complicated. Either we raise taxes to maintain facilities no longer needed and further increase the cost of housing as we do so, or we tell the District trustees to do the job for which they were elected. It’s time to trim surplus facilities from the balance sheet and cut expenses.

We agree. Tourists should pay their fair share of fire and emergency services.

Unfortunately, this measure uses half of its money to prop up the struggling West Sonoma County High School District. In addition to this Measure B, the District also wants you to approve Measure A, a separate parcel tax the proceeds of which all go to the District.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You just approved another parcel taxlast year in March, 2020 and a $91 million bond measure in June, 2018. In all, the District wants you to approve four separate tax and bond measures to keep it afloat.

The District has for years seen its enrollment figures drop as young families are squeezed out by Sonoma County’s high housing costs. That reduction in enrollment translates to a corresponding reduction in funding from the state.

The problem is the District now has more facilities than it needs given the reduced enrollment figures. Rather than streamlining its operations and eliminating surplus facilities, the District wants you to pay to maintain these no longer needed assets.

You’ve been very generous approving earlier tax and bond measures.It’s time for the District to sharpen its pencil and cut its expenses. You’ve done your part. It’s time for them to do theirs.

-Sonoma County Taxpayers Association-

Vote No on Measures A and B


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